Whether you use a power or manual toothbrush or interdental brush; rubber tip or dental floss, or water pik; mouthrinse, each of these oral hygiene products have instructions to follow for the best results.
Refreshments To Keep Your Teeth And You Happy This Summer
In our last blog, we learned something pretty surprising about oral health – consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are a stronger risk factor for dental decay than snack food OR poor oral health. That means that just maintaining good oral hygiene is not enough to protect your teeth from the corrosive effects of sugar-sweetened drinks. Why? Sugar is food for the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth, and when they break down sugar they release harmful acids that can eat away at the enamel and structure of your teeth.
So for this blog, we’re giving you a couple summer refreshment ideas that are great for cooling off and keeping your teeth happy and healthy!
Alternatively Sweetened Homemade Lemonade
Everyone loves lemonade. The sound of ice clinking in a big glass pitcher, the distinctive summer sunshine color, and that classic sweet & sour taste all just say summer. But there’s danger lying in that glass – most lemonade is absolutely loaded down with sugar to counteract the tang of the lemon juice. And that sugar, combined with the citric acid from the lemons, spell disaster for your teeth, leading to cavities, tooth decay, and possibly a fortune in reparative dentistry.
But have no fear! You can still enjoy this timeless summer treat. Skip the store-bought stuff, where you have no control over the ingredients, and make your own – it only takes about a half an hour. Instead of cane sugar, try sweetening the lemonade with honey, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, or xylitol.
It turns out it’s not just good for cereal – milk has also been shown to contribute to the strength and health of your teeth. Milk is high in calcium, and while we all know calcium is great for bones, calcium also helps to protect your mouth from periodontal disease. You need Vitamin D to absorb all that calcium, though, so be sure to pair your milk with vitamin D rich foods! Or try the ultimate vitamin D producer – sunshine. Your body can produce almost a week’s worth of vitamin D with just a half hour of exposure to direct sunlight.
Last but certainly not least, water is really the ultimate tooth-health elixir. Not only is it refreshing, vital to our survival, and thirst-quenching, but water actually does a lot to promote oral health. Water washes away bits of food debris and acid that accumulate in your mouth, reducing the corrosive agents acting on your teeth. What’s more, water helps to regulate the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva contains proteins and minerals that counteract tooth-eating acids, making it a number one protector for your teeth. If you want to mix things up a bit, try adding some sliced strawberries, lemons, mint, or cucumbers to your water pitcher to give it a refreshing essence!
Your Local Dover, DE Orthodontist
Although all of these delicious summer refreshments are good for your teeth, they certainly won’t move them anywhere! At Orthodontics On Silverlake, we are committed to providing you the very best in orthodontic care, including Invisalign, In-Ovation, and traditional metal braces. Dr. Steckel and our team of highly trained orthodontic specialists will work with you to craft a smile that is healthy, straight, and beautiful. To make an appointment, simply use our online formor give us a call at our Dover, DE
practice. And check back soon for the next entries on our blog – more fun stuff to come!
: Which of these behaviors (or lack there of) present the greatest risk to developing dental decay? What do you think?
maintaining good oral hygiene is not sufficient to prevent dental decay!
Until then, how about a tall glass of water…?
We all know that wearing braces can lead to the accumulation of plaque, and plaque is a major etiologic factor in the process that can lead to demineralization or “white spots.” Nobody wants to see white spots on their teeth after finishing their braces, especiallyDr. Steckel
Brushing is a great start!
How do we reduce the chances of white spots from happening? Well, if you are a patient at Orthodontics on Silverlake (OSL) you know we talk about brushing your teeth at every visit- whether you’re a fantastic brusher of if you need help to improve your brushing. So good brushing on a regular basis, what else? Avoid eating acidic foods and drinking acidic drinks like sodas and sports drinks- they can scar your teeth by reacting with the enamel of your teeth.
Using Flouride Can Help!
How about using fluoride-containing toothpastes, rinses, gels? When used regularly, these products keep the surface of your teeth protected against white spots to strengthen the enamel and saturating the saliva with protective fluoride ions.(1) So we recommend using these, as does your general dentist, when you get your teeth cleaned every 6 months.
Chewing Gum Sweetened By Xylitol
Chewing gum has a cleansing affect as well, and this is improved significantly when the gum is sweetened with Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-derived sweetener found in the Stevia plant. A study was done to evaluate the effectiveness of chewing-gum and the progression of dental decay. (2)The results showed a significant difference between children who chewed the gum sweetened with Xylitol vs. those that did not. No untoward side-effects from chewing the gum was noted.
I encourage patients who want to chew gum to chew gum with this natural sweetener! We haven’t seen any untoward effects as well, only happier patients at Orthodontics on Silverlake!
Once you get done with your orthodontic treatment, you want to be done! We want to help you with that by preventing white spots, tooth decay and any other common problem. By following these helpful tips, brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste and chewing gum that is sweetened by Xylitol, you are significantly reducing your chance of continued treatment after braces. Our staff at Orthodontics on Silverlake is happy to answer any questions you may have so feel free to contact us as we are always delighted to speak with our patients!